by Rene Ferran For the Yakima Herald-Republic PASCO -- For the third straight year, West Valley junior Lisa Olander found herself standing atop the medals podium at Edgar Brown Stadium. This time, though, it wasn't for winning the 1,600 meters at the 3A state track and field championships. No, Saturday, Olander captured the 800 title at Star Track XXVI, her comeback from an early-season groin injury complete. She blitzed the field from start to finish, winning in 2 minutes, 14.18 seconds -- a little over a second slower than her preliminary time Friday.
By Rene Ferran, Herald staff writer var comments_story_id = 145687; WALLA WALLA -- Ryan Moberg, a DeSales senior who enjoyed helping out with Walla Walla Pacific Little League and was set to study engineering at Washington State University this fall, died Wednesday of head injuries suffered in a pole vaulting accident. Moberg, 18, died at 9:50 a.m., almost 45 hours after he was injured on a practice vault on the school's indoor facility in its gymnasium. Herring Groseclose Funeral Home in Walla Walla will handle the arrangements. Ryan's mother, Debbie Moberg-Williams, said a graveside service will be Saturday morning at Mountain View Cemetery, and a memorial service has been tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the DeSales gym. "The DeSales community is in shock, in pain," said Dr. David Schmitz, executive director of Walla Walla Catholic Schools. "This is a tragic accident. He was a very well-liked, respected young man."
Abdi Hassan came into Saturday's 46th Pasco Invitational track-and-field meet with no illusions of winning the 800 meters. Not with Prosser's Nectaly Barbosa in the race. With Barbosa owning the nation's second-fastest time in the event this season, Hassan, a Nathan Hale senior, came into the race looking to get some speed work in as he prepares for next month's state meet. But Barbosa was coming back from winning the 1,600 in a meet-record time of 4 minutes, 8.86 seconds earlier in the day, while Hassan was fresh. That made just the difference in the homestretch as Hassan outkicked Barbosa in the final 50 meters to win in 1:51.90.
Rene Feran of Tri Cites Herlad features Aaron Wafer, defending 200 meter champion, of Moses Lake
Tri-Cities Herald Wrap up of Mid State Track and Field.CBL 4ACBL 3ACWACSCAC
By Rene Ferran Herald staff writer Rigoberto Jimenez barely let out a smile as he crossed the finish line Saturday in the 1A boys race at the state cross country championships at Sun Willows Golf Course. The Royal junior had just won the first state title in the program\'s history, but he was waiting for his twin brother, Humberto, to arrive so they could celebrate together. Eleven seconds after Rigoberto finished the 5-kilometer course in 16:17, Humberto crossed the line, himself having left the rest of the field in his dust. The two walked down the finish chute, and now Rigoberto owned a big grin. \"I\'m very proud,\" said Rigoberto, who only moved to the United States five years ago from Acapulco, Mexico, and didn\'t being running competitively until ninth grade. \"This means a lot. It was my goal. I worked all summer so I could finish strong.\"
By Rene Ferran, Herald staff writer ROYAL CITY -- Don\'t bother to offer either Rigoberto or Humberto Jimenez a ride. Royal cross country coach Ben Orth has tried many times. Neither Jimenez twin ever takes him up on his offer. They live a mile away from Royal High, and they walk home every night. Then, many times, they\'ll return to school later to walk around the campus for some added exercise, then walk back home. \"They\'re always moving,\" said Orth of his two junior standouts. \"They don\'t ever sit still.\" The Jimenez brothers also run very fast over long distances. The duo are among the favorites to win the 1A state title Saturday at the state cross country championships at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. Rigoberto won his second straight SCAC district title last Saturday at Apple Ridge Run in Cowiche, with Humberto finishing five seconds back to lead Royal to a second-place finish in the team standings and a state berth.
By Rene Ferran Special to The Columbian PASCO -- All season long, Shannon Porter had finished in second place in every cross country meet she ran. On Saturday at the state championships at Sun Willows Golf Course, Porter found herself a runner-up again -- just not to the runner she\'d been accustomed to trailing. The Hockinson sophomore finished second in the Class 2A girls meet for the second consecutive year, but this time instead of finishing behind older sister Sarah, she trailed Sequim senior Stephanie Marcy across the line. Marcy won in 18 minutes, 28 seconds, 27 seconds ahead of Shannon. Sarah Porter, a senior, faded in the final half-mile and fell all the way back to sixth place, more than a minute behind Marcy. It was only the second time Shannon had even beaten her older sister in a race. \"I really missed her,\" Shannon said. \"If we\'re together, it\'s so much funner. We go out as a team.\" The pressure of being the defending champion hit Sarah full force Friday afternoon when she saw her picture front and center on the state program. \"The pressure\'s been building ever since,\" Sarah said. \"I just choked. I did in myself.\"
Sunday, November 5, 2006 By Rene Ferran Special to The Columbian Advertisement PASCO -- The Columbia River girls team made Clark County history on Saturday at the state cross country championship, and it took every member of the team to accomplish its feat. But, then again, that\'s the way the Chieftains have been running all season. Columbia River girls finished third in the 3A meet, their first podium finish in school history. River\'s best previous finish was sixth. But it also was the highest team placing by a Clark County girls cross country team since Washougal won the Class A state championship in 1986. And it was the highest finish of any girls team from a large school in county history. The Chieftains didn\'t put a
By Rene Ferran Herald staff writer YAKIMA -- There will be two Nolands from Richland running at next week\'s state cross country meet in Pasco. Tyler Noland is no surprise. The Bombers senior qualified for his third trip to Sun Willows Golf Course with a seventh-place finish in the 4A boys race at Saturday\'s Eastern Regionals at Franklin Park. His younger sister Emily, though, was only supposed to be there as a spectator. But when teammate Annette Oliveras had a family event conflict with the regional meet, Richland coach Bruce Blizard plugged Emily, a freshman who won the JV district title, into the lineup. \"I was really nervous at the start,\" she said. \"Mostly, I just wanted to get a big PR and just try to help the team get to state.\" Emily did just that, finishing fourth among Richland\'s seven-girl crew to help the Bombers qualify for a second straight year. With her performance, she earned a spot in next week\'s lineup. \"She did awesome,\" said her older brother. \"I know she\'s been winning all her JV meets, but I don\'t know where that came from today.\" The eight Richland runners were among 15 from Mid-Columbia schools to qualify for next week\'s state meet. Walla Walla had three runners advance, while senior Christina Lee became the first Southridge girl to qualify with a ninth-place finish in the 3A meet.
By Rene Ferran, Herald staff writer The Kamiakin football team isn\'t the only one with an eye on a return to the state playoffs this fall. The boys cross country team, ranked ninth in the state, is one of the top contenders for a 3A state berth this weekend at the 4A/3A Eastern Regionals at Franklin Park in Yakima. Senior Brad Young was 2 years old the last time Kamiakin sent a team to state in 1990. On a team with no stars of the likes of Matt Topping, he\'s the Braves\' best bet to qualify as an individual after finishing second at last week\'s Columbia Basin 3A district meet in Wenatchee. \"Brad has stepped up in all the big meets for us this year,\" said Kamiakin coach Matt Rexus. \"He had a great summer, and it\'s starting to show at this time. If Brad is to finish where we think he should, it\'ll go a long way to breaking our 16-year drought.\"
Rene Ferran Herald staff writer Two small-school programs could reach the big time for the first time in a while later this month at the SCAC district championships. The Connell and Kiona-Benton boys teams could break long state qualifying droughts as they run for the three available berths to the 1A state meet in Pasco. Connell, which last qualified in 1999, swept a four-team league meet Tuesday in Cle Elum to remain unbeaten in duals. Ki-Be, which last qualified in 1995 and hasn\'t sent a runner to state in a decade, swept a three-team meet in Warden. Its only loss was by one point to Connell. Both programs dropped from the 2A ranks this year with reclassification.
Joey Bywater knows Abdi Hassan all too well. Bywater, a Lake Stevens junior, has lost a couple of big-time races to the Nathan Hale senior in the past, including the 1,600 meters at last year\'s Pasco Invite and earlier this year at the Salt Creek Invite. At Saturday\'s 38th running of the Richland Invitational cross country meet, Bywater figured it was time for a little payback. After running side-by-side at a blistering pace for almost the entire 3-mile course, Bywater surged over the final third of a mile to pull away to a seven-second victory over Hassan in a course-record time of 14 minutes, 59 seconds. \"That\'s the hardest I\'ve ever had to run to win a race,\" said Bywater, the 4A state 3,200 champion as a sophomore. \"Abdi is the toughest kid in Washington to run against.\"
By Rene Ferran Herald staff writer The 33rd annual Sunfair Invitational this weekend features 96 teams from throughout the Northwest, including several prominent in national and regional rankings. While the state\'s top two boys programs -- Ferris, ranked No. 2 in the nation in the Harrier Super 25, and sixth-ranked Mead -- are at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., the boys field is still loaded for Sunfair. Flathead, Mont. (No. 4 in the Nike Team National Northwest rankings), North Central (No. 6 in the region), Gig Harbor (No. 9 in the region) and Sehome (top-ranked in 2A boys in the state) highlight the competition. From the Mid-Columbia, Richland, Walla Walla, Hanford, Kamiakin, Kennewick, Sunnyside and Warden will take part. The girls field includes Gig Harbor, ranked No. 13 in the nation and No. 2 in the Northwest; Oak Bay Secondary, the reigning British Columbia champion from Victoria; and West Valley (Yakima), the 2005 3A state champion.
By Rene Ferran Herald staff writer The girls of the Southridge cross country program just finished their workout at Highlands Grange Park on Union Street, and they were seeking any bit of shade they could find. Seven of them sat down in the shadow of a small tree below the roller hockey rink, while several others stood around the water jug on a bench along a walkway. Senior Ainsley Bourque could only smile. Three years ago, as a freshman, she was one of only four Suns who finished the season at the Big Nine district meet. \"I was sick for the first six weeks and couldn\'t run,\" she recalled. \"I come back, and I\'m running varsity, that\'s how bad we were.\" In four of the program\'s eight years of existence, Southridge failed to field a full team for either the district or regional meet, and the other four years it either finished last or next-to-last in the team standings. Now, Bourque and her 18 teammates make up one of the largest girls teams in the Mid-Columbia.
Ever since Tyler Noland became serious about running, his idol has been Steve Prefontaine. This summer, when Noland, a Richland senior, and his family made their annual trek to the Oregon coast, they made a day-long detour to Eugene, where Prefontaine starred as a collegian and is still a legend 31 years after he died in a car accident. While there, Noland ran on Pre\'s Trail and visited Pre\'s Rock, and he came away inspired. \"It was neat to see where he came from,\" said Noland, who has a black and white poster of Prefontaine on the wall above his bed. The quote on the poster reads, \"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.\" Noland has dedicated his senior cross country season to following that credo. He upped his offseason workload from approximately 50 miles a week to more than 70, running twice a day, five days a week.
Columbia Basin 4A Returning champions (Big Nine) -- Dual meets, Walla Walla (boys) and Eisenhower (girls); Districts, Eisenhower (girls). Returning state qualifiers -- Boys: Tyler Noland, sr., Richland. Girls: Eisenhower, team (Ann McCarthy, jr.; Jessica Montoya, soph.); Richland, team (Kiley Johnson, soph.; Brianna McMullin, jr.; Annie McDonald, soph.); Kristen Ballinger, sr., Wenatchee; Sandra Martinez, soph., Davis. Prognosis -- Same old, same old. The CBL and Greater Spokane League figure to get three state berths, and two are virtually locked up by powerhouses Mead and Ferris, Nos. 1 and 3 in the nation according to Harrier magazine. That leaves a host of teams fighting for one spot, with Walla Walla and Richland both figuring in that mix. Wa-Hi returns four of its top runners off last year\'s dual-meet champs, including seniors Bowe Ebding and Trent Sislow. Richland has Noland, which gives the Bombers a great head start, but has to replace Nos. 2 and 3 runners John McDonald and Kevin Joyce. A pair of sophomores, Benn Fussner and Caleb Parker, could fit the bill, said coach Bruce Blizard. The biggest news on the girls side is that senior Cydney Knight, who led the Bombers to a state berth last year, transferred from Richland to Pasco late in the summer and will not run for the Bulldogs to concentrate on basketball. The Bombers, ranked fifth in 4A in the preseason, still figure to be the team to beat, thanks in part to the addition of two transfers -- Allison Mills from Riverside, Calif., and Danielle Amparan from Clark County, Ind. -- plus getting junior Caroline Hedel, a state placer in the high hurdles, and 5:34 miler Annette Oliveras, a junior who missed all of last season because of injuries. \"Any one of five girls could be our No. 1,\" Blizard said. \"It depends a lot on the type of course.\" Richland will need all five at their best considering five teams were in the preseason top 10 (Central Valley, Mead, University and Wenatchee are the others), and never count out perennial power Eisenhower.
Where does one begin to describe one of the best days for Tri-City girls at the 4A state track and field championships in some time? With Kamiakin senior Michaela Haggett\'s dominant victory in the 100-meter hurdles, Saturday\'s first final of Star Track XXIV at Edgar Brown Stadium? Or perhaps Richland junior Kayla McKeirnan\'s equally dominant win in the 400, setting a school record in the process, sandwiched by a third place in the 100 and fourth in the 200? What about the Kamiakin 4x200 relay team, the same quartet that two hours earlier had been edged in the 4x100, coming back to capture a state title? No, what sums up the day best might be the sight of those same Braves runners an hour later, standing atop the awards podium, clutching the second-place team trophy. Four athletes compiled 44 points to put a scare into Olympia\'s 14-deep squad that finished with 50 points to win the team title.
A year ago, the only event in which Keefe Brockman qualified for state was the long jump. This year, the Hanford junior failed to advance out of Friday\'s Mid-Valley League district meet in the event. Instead, he walked away with titles in the triple and high jumps, and as he stepped off the awards podium in the Art Fiker Stadium infield after receiving his first-place medal in the latter, he smiled.
By Rene Ferran Herald staff writer HERMISTON -- Anne Barnett has been working on some changes in her technique in the shot put and javelin. The Hermiston senior just had been waiting for a good day to put them into effect. The past couple of weeks, the weather had been miserable, but at Saturday\'s 21st annual Kiwanis Invitational on her home track at Kennison Field, the conditions were perfect and Barnett came up big. Barnett won the shot put with a 2 1/2-foot personal-best, throwing an area-leading 41 feet, 0 1/2 inch, then following up with a 10-foot PR in the javelin to win with a meet-record throw of 146-2. \"We finally got a nice day,\" said Barnett, who recently decided against an Air Force Academy appointment and is considering track scholarship offers from Montana State, Idaho and Northwest Nazarene.
Seeding meetingsa re nearly 2 weeks away and the cream is rising to the top of the state\'s best track althletes. Nectaly Barbosa, Kyle Schuable, and Kayla McKeirnan still set the bar for this conferance and the entire state. In a year with such superstarts, the field seems to be rising to the challange, This year\'s State meet should be a show of the best in recent years.